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Hummingbirds in Mexico
Jun 20th, 2010 by Les

Bill Watterson, American author and creator of Calvin & Hobbs says: “When birds burp, it must taste like bugs.”

“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.”  James Dent (actor)

David has been spending A LOT of time on our porch.  Camera stationed on a tripod and focused on the lovely tiger lilies that dot our yard just off our porch and behind palm branches.

Let me step back a bit, one morning not too long ago David was working in the studio.  Our studio is up some stairs behind our house and overlooks beautiful Lake Chapala, glistening mountains ranges and swaying palm trees.  Inspiring, thought provoking, peaceful, enchanting are words that come to mind whenever we think of this fabulous studio.

On this particular day David let the door swing wide and air flow through, bringing with it an unexpected visitor.  As he pondered yet another array of photographs he had taken he heard this incredibly gentle sound, similar to a well-tuned motor, just above his head and to the left of where he was sitting.

He glanced up, his mind still on what he was doing (he can remain focused, something I’ve never been able to do) and lo-and-behold, there, right in front of him “stood” a hummingbird.  Anyone who has seen a hummingbird “stand” knows what I mean…straight up, wings moving with little effort he stared right into David’s face.  It was as if he was saying: “why not take some pictures of me and my friends?”

The photographs contained in this blog are ones I know you are going to enjoy, as David has managed to capture the character and essence of these divine creatures, as only he can.  They are a derivative of that invitation, for that is what I choose to believe that little hummingbird was doing in our studio that day.

We can sit quietly upon our porch each and every day and watch the lilies nodding their beautiful orange heads in the sun while an array of hummingbirds dip their beaks into the pedals’ lovely folds.

I can honestly say I have never seen birds with more character.  One afternoon I sat with him as he held his automatic snap-shot thingy (sorry folks, I don’t know the technical term) in hand and watched as these delightful and tiny creatures visited the lilies over and over again.  Often, they’d buzz in, test a few flowers and then stop in mid-air and look directly at David as if to say: “did you get that?”

Hummingbirds are amazingly tiny yet full of an exuberance for life, you can’t help but call them precious.  One more precious then the other, brilliant red heads, green feathers, tiny bodies and wings so clear you can see the flowers through them.

They may not be indigenous to Mexico.  They may travel the world.  However, we have been given the gift of time in this lovely, ancient Mexican village and so I say again, Viva Mexico!

[Note] Our lawn mower is broken and our gardener is cutting our grass with a weed wacker.  Needless to say, but say it I must, there is no quiet in Lawrence Land when the lawn needs mowing!

Can you see the flowers through his tiny wings?

Can you see the flowers through his tiny wings?

He hovers just above the lilie.

He hovers just above the lilie.

Coming in for a landing.

Coming in for a landing.

Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at http://boomerstomexico.com/mexico-photos/ , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in photographs.

Out-of-Body Experiences
May 21st, 2010 by Les

“Talking with you is sort of the conversational equivalent of an out of body experience.”  Calvin & Hobbs 
“If ever I had an out of body experience, I’d try to come back to a different one.” Tom Wilson, American Actor and Comedian

Did you ever have one of those days when you are prone to out-of-body experiences, or, in my case, out-of-mind experiences?  I mean, your walking down the carretera in a small village in Mexico minding your own business when out of the blue someone mentions Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys.  Where the heck did that come from?  Well, it came from David as we strolled he thought of this great band from years ago he absolutely enjoyed that went by that name.  I believe his father, who was Jewish, introduced him to them.

He went on to relate that good old Kinky Friedman ran for Governor of Texas in 2006 against the current Governor Perry and placed fourth in a six person race.  Believe it or not, he went further with the comment saying he also wrote books.  Then the light came on.  I read at least two of his books and loved his “Jimmy Buffet” style of writing.  Detective novels are my favorite source of leisure and he never failed to make it an enjoyable experience.

Which, of course, led me to reminisce about home and how I learned an enormous amount of Yiddish words from some great friends I grew to know while working in Milwaukee?  Of course, and quite naturally, I thought of the pictures we took of the Hotel Italo (don’t ask…just go with my derailed train of thought).

Can you see how easy it was to go from Kinky Freedman and Texas to the Hotel Italo and its Romanesque statues?   Not a difficult leap…at least not for me and David is becoming more and more comfortable with my incoherency.  Perhaps he should be concerned.

Any who and according to David, a lot of the Romanesque statues and sculptures have little boys peeing as the subject.  I know this.  We have art and culture in Milwaukee too.  However he was saying this as I gazed upward at the statues you will see below (ha, ha).

Life is always interesting, often bizarre and frequently curious here in good old Ajijic, Lake Chapala area Jalisco Mexico.  I am sure I have probably added a little quirkiness to the picture since my arrival.  I have noted people often smile and say “hola” and continue smiling as they pass bursting into laughter as they’ve reached at least 10 cobblestones in distance away from us. As you’ve probably guessed, I take that as a compliment.  Also, I might add it helps many of our blog readers (Terry…you know who you are) recognize and follow David…..not stalk….follow!

Oh yes, back to the sculptures atop the Hotel Italo in downtown Ajijic.  Fortunately for those passing underneath said sculptures there is no water connected to these urchins as the streets of Ajijic would turn into fountains that turn off and on at no given time, in no given order, to celebrate no given event….like most of the other fountains here.  (I know I’m off on another tangent – however believe me when I say the fountains all seem to have water but you never know when they’ll be turned on…I love it!!)

Okay, dear reader, I think I out-of-minded my self enough for one day.  (If you read and understood that sentence you are either mad as a hatter or ate a breakfast burrito and are suffering the consequences!) Below you will see the pictures we took of the Hotel Italo and its sculptures on one of our many travels through this lovely village.  Enjoy.  No le estés dando vuelta al malacate porque se te enredan las pitas. (Things shouldn’t be made more complicated than the way they really are.) Viva Mexico!

I rest my case.  Please note...he is taking careful aim!

I rest my case. Please note...he is taking careful aim! I absolutely love the look on his face.

Another of the scluptures that adorn Hotel Italo.

Another of the scluptures that adorn Hotel Italo.

A fierce lion with a porch background.

A fierce lion with a porch background.

Another lion.

Another lion.

I leave you with these lovely bougainvilleas having fallen to ground and resting gently upon the cobblestones.

I leave you with these lovely bougainvilleas having fallen to ground and resting gently upon the cobblestones.

Mazamitla aka Magic Town Jalisco
May 17th, 2010 by Les

 To qualify for mountain rescue work, you have to pass our test. The doctor holds a flashlight to your ear. If he can see light coming out the other one, you qualify. Willy Pfisterer, long-time Jasper Park Warden – Canada – and mountain rescue specialist.

“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux , U.S. writer known for his novels and travel books.

There is an old Chinese Proverb that goes: “Men trip not on mountains they trip on molehills.”  If you are a frequent reader of our blog you know, we trip on anything, particularly cobblestones.  Consequently, when David said “Day Trip” into the mountains you can understand my trepidations.  Then, of course, I thought of Willy Pfisterer’s comment above and relaxed. My mom always told me she could see light coming out of my ears – even a breeze upon occasion. 

We’ve been talking about taking day trips since we reached our home.  Just wanted to get settled in and become comfortable with our current surroundings.  Realizing neither was going to take place soon, we figured what the heck, nothing ventured nothing gained.

The choice for our first day trip was easy – Mazamitla – the Alpine village of Mexico.  Only a couple of hours drive from Ajijic, it seemed like the perfect place to go. Via the Mayan Riviera Route and nestled in the heart of the Sierra del Tigres, this lovely village has its first recorded information dating back to 1165 when the Nahua tribes inhabited the land.

The road leading into the mountains is well paved and easy to travel.  The village is 2200 meters (7218.2 feet) above sea level which explains why our ears began to pop on the way up.  Though David had explained the village had more wood structures, wood doors, wood windows, wood accouterments then other villages in Mexico because of its location, I was amazed to see the chalet-type dwellings cradled in the mountain passes.

The further we headed up the mountain the more it looked like Northern Wisconsin (my home state).  The air was refreshingly cool – considering it was 90 degrees and heading up in our village when we left – and the sun was shining. 

The pictures you will see over the next few posts are of the village.  I decided to start with what I considered its “crown jewel” the church on the plaza.  Almost all Mexican villages have a church on the plaza in the heart of the city.  This church was built in 1940 and interesting in its architectural form.

The gardens surrounding the church and plaza are beautifully kept up and greatly enjoyed by many tourists – both nationals and internationals.  Since we qualified as both tourists and travelers we were comfortable not knowing where we were going….a feeling we have lived with since we transplanted to Mexico!  No matter where we venture, no matter what we do we are always enchanted and delighted with the sights and sounds of Mexico.

After finding a place to park our car, this is the first image of the church we came upon just prior to entering the plaza.

After finding a place to park our car, this is the first image of the church we came upon just prior to entering the plaza.

 

A view of the church.

A view of the church.

 

Close-up view of church.

Close-up view of church.

 

Image of Christ on the Cross.

Image of Christ on the Cross.

 

One of the gardens surrounding the plaza and the church.

One of the gardens surrounding the plaza and the church.

Gorgeous plants within the gardens.

Gorgeous plants within the gardens.

Gardens and gazebo overlooking plaza and church.

Gardens and gazebo overlooking plaza and church.

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